Lakers’ Russell Westbrook Has Heated Exchange with Reporter, Vows Not to Quit

Lakers' Russell Westbrook

Getty Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Russell Westbrook’s first season with the Los Angeles Lakers took another ugly turn after the team lost to the Los Angeles Clippers on March 3.

During his postgame media session, Westbrook got into it with The Athletic’s Bill Oram. Take a look:

Westbrook finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists while shooting 7-of-16 from the field and 0-of-2 from beyond the arc against the Clippers. The Lakers have lost four consecutive games and are 27-35 on the season.

The Lakers were supposed to compete for a championship after acquiring Westbrook and pairing him with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They had the second-best odds to win the title in the preseason. However, the purple and gold have been a walking disaster all campaign. They are 22nd in net rating and Westbrook leads the league in turnovers (240).

Westbrook has played for four teams (Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, Lakers) in the last four years. The one-time MVP has had a difficult time adjusting to playing with LeBron and Davis and it doesn’t appear he or the Lakers will turn things around before the regular season ends.

However, Westbrook remains determined and won’t quit.

Westbrook Says Role Changes Nightly, but ‘I’m Not a Quitter’

Westbrook told reporters following the Clippers game that his role has changed almost every game this season. Despite “a little struggle” in finding his role in his first year with the Lakers and the regular season almost being over, though, the All-Star guard refuses to quit.

“My role and what I’m doing has changed every single night,” Westbrook said, via ESPN. “So I’m just trying to figure that out as I’m playing and to be able to benefit and help my team. But my expectations are still the same. I’m not a quitter. It’s not in my genes. I don’t quit, regardless of what the hell is going on. I’m going to fight to the end, and if it don’t work, that’s cool, too. I can live with the results. But I’m never going to give up or give in because of a little struggle that’s happening this time of the year.”

Westbrook is averaging 18.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.3 assists, which aren’t bad numbers. However, he’s shooting only 43.3% from the field, 28.4% from beyond the arc and 67.1% from the free-throw line. The future Hall of Famer also has a putrid plus-minus of -163.

Barring a miraculous turnaround, the Lakers won’t win the championship this season. It’s evident they made a mistake trading for Westbrook, who has a player option worth $47,063,478 for next season. The NBA’s all-time leader in triple-doubles will most likely pick up his option, but that doesn’t mean he will be on the Lakers in 2022-23.

Westbrook, Lakers Have Mutual Interest in Parting Ways

According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Westbrook and the Lakers have mutual interest in parting ways this summer.

Per Fischer, the Lakers’ most realistic option may ultimately be stretching Westbrook’s $47 million player option.

“You’ll at least be able to patch something together,” an NBA cap analyst told Fischer. “It might actually be their best move and puts some pieces around LeBron.”

Westbrook could become more movable once his contract becomes an expiring deal. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers try to acquire John Wall from the Rockets again this summer.

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